Alex Cooke's 'hypermarathon' inspirational

ONE young man is going to extreme lengths to help spread the message of mental health support.

Eighteen-year-old Alex Cooke is walking – and occasionally running - from Melbourne to Sydney this month to raise money and awareness of national mental health initiative beyondblue.

His 1060km journey began on New Year’s Day in Federation Square and he plans to walk up the Sydney Opera House steps on January 25 or 26.

To do so he is effectively covering a marathon distance - 42km - a day on average.

Mr Cooke’s “hypermarathon” saw him stop in at Bega on Tuesday after walking from near Eden.

Bega’s Princes Motel donated a room for the night.

He is staying at Quaama on Wednesday night.

“I’ve seen depression affect a few of my peers,” Mr Cooke said of his reason for the extreme journey.

“I’ve seen how it erodes people and how there is a constant dulling of who they are.

“But it also hurts the people around them as we watch what that person is becoming.

“It can be really difficult for everyone involved.

“So I wanted to do something to help.”

Mr Cooke is gaining plenty of support during his journey.

His Everyday Hero fundraising total is heading north of $8000 and his story on the beyondblue Facebook page has had thousands of people commenting and sharing it around.

Anyone wishing to donate to Mr Cooke’s worthy cause can click here for his Everyday Hero page.

You can also follow his journey with daily updates on his Facebook page by clicking here.

* Read more in Friday's BDN

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